Sigmund Freud is far and away the most famous psychologist in history. While there are many impressive names that join his as being legends of psychology none seem to be able to quite match his stature. Here are the reasons why Sigmund Freud is considered to be the most famous psychologist in history.
The Unconscious Mind
One of Freud’s greatest contributions to psychology was his theory of the unconscious mind. Today the fact that there are many unconscious thoughts and beliefs motivating the behavior of humans is taken for granted but it was Freud who first presented this idea. It was he who pioneered psychoanalysis as a means of focusing on these unconscious aspects of the self. The notion that people have thoughts of which they may be totally unaware was revolutionary.
Freud also managed to effectively convey this idea using the idea of an iceberg. You only see the tip of the iceberg above the water while the rest is submerged and hidden. The hidden part of the iceberg represents the unconscious mind and one of the keys to treating mental problems, Freud believed.
Id, Ego, And Superego
Freud also brought forth the ideas of the id, ego, and superego. These are all parts of every person’s personality and are driving forces of who a person is. If one part is overdeveloped or out of control then difficulties are bound to arise.
The id is the part of the mind that seeks pleasure. It wants what feels good and it wants what feels good now. The ego is the practical, objective part of the mind. It deals more with reality and can help to keep the other parts of the mind in check. The superego is nothing less than the part of a person’s personality that strives for perfection. The superego is essentially the manifestation of morality and causes feelings of guilt or pride depending on the choices that an individual makes.
Importance Of Childhood
Freud also believed that who people are as adults is largely decided in a series of childhood stages that if completed can lead to a fully developed adult or if not completed will lead to an incomplete personality or fixation based upon the stage that was not completed. The stages of development that he proposed were the oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital stages.
These stages then were tied into the Oedipus and Electra complexes wherein Freud surmised that children developed sęxual feelings for the parent of the opposite sęx. This was then thought to create feelings of anger and even hostility toward parents of the same sęx as they were seen as obstacles on the road to gaining the affection of the opposite sęx parent. And one cannot forget that Freud was the one who proposed the idea of pęnis envy too.
Sigmund Freud is the most famous psychologist in history because he saw the unconscious mind and looked beneath the surface to find hidden motivations driving people. While you may not agree with all of his theories his contributions to the field of psychology are undeniable. Freud essentially discovered the hidden forces of the mind.
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